Richard Roeper Blog

‘Get Hard:’ has the feel of something that was written 20 years ago “C-“

“Get Hard”

I’m Richard Roeper and coming up next, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart star in the comedy, “Get Hard.” How come nobody told me about this movie? They should have advertised it on TV or something.

From its juvenile double entendre title to its fascination with prison rape and homophobic humor, “Get Hard” practically announces itself as an offensive, tired and unimaginative comedy in nearly every scene.

And yet I didn’t hate it because Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart had such terrific comedic chemistry.

That said, it almost defies belief that in 2015, we’re still getting comedies that rely so heavily on racial and gay stereotypes, not to mention an endless barrage of jokes about what happens to men who go to prison. They get raped. Isn’t that hilarious?

Ferrell is in prime dimwit blowhard mode as James King, a wealthy financial analyst who has it all. Or so it seems.

Kevin Hart plays Darnell, the hardworking and ambitious operator of a local car wash. Darnell lives in Crenshaw. He has a dreams of making a better life for his family.

After James is convicted of fraud and sentenced to 10 years hard time in San Quentin, he turns to the only black man he knows: Darnell. Darnell’s black, so James assumes Darnell has been in prison. James will pay Darnell to teach him how to toughen up for prison.

So basically, James is a racist and Darnell plays into the stereotype. Great.

Every once in a while, “Get Hard” produces a big laugh, almost in spite of itself. The best moments come when there’s an attempt at turning Darnell and James into real characters, e.g., a silly but sweet dinner scene at Darnell’s house. And I have to admit I laughed at some of the slapstick fight scenes, with Ferrell and Hart (and their stunt doubles) giving it 100 percent in the name of getting stupid laughs.

Those were isolated moments in a sea of cheap jokes that indulge racial and gay stereotypes more often than they mock such outdated thinking. “Get Hard” has the feel of something that was written 20 years ago. Let’s find a better vehicle for these two hilarious guys! I give “Get Hard” a C-.

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